Auto Insurance Premium Tips

Are you facing high premiums and struggling to pay your monthly minimum due for your auto insurance? If yes, then here are some helpful suggestions for you to discuss with your agent.

1. Check into higher deductibles for you comprehensive and collision coverage’s.

2. Check into different forms of collision coverage; there are 3 – Broad, Standard, & Limited.

3. Ask to make sure all discounts are on your policy, such as: Multi-Policy Discount, Group Discounts, Safety Discounts, Insurance Score Discounts, Multi-Car Discount, etc.

However, always remember when making changes to your policy never cut yourself short. Always make sure you have the coverage you NEED for you personally. Never trade value for price.

-Joshua M. Phillips, CISR

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How Is My Replacement Cost On My Home Created?

It starts with a few questions : such as, square footage of the house, type of siding, how many stories, attached or detached garage, and so on.

We then take that information and input it into our MSB software which then comes back with how much it would cost to rebuild the house from the ground up, including debris removal, as if it was a total loss.

Sadly, the cost of building materials increase each year so that’s why you might see your Replacement Cost (aka RC) higher than what you might expect.

A popular misconception is that the market value of your home plays a part in the homes Replacement Cost. The market value only says how much the house is WORTH, where as Replacement Cost states how much it costs to REBUILD.

If you look at your policy you will see your Replacement Cost Coverage Amount under Coverage A.

Collision Coverage On Older Cars?

There are several considerations to help you decide the answer.

Is collision coverage on an older vehicle necessary? This aspect affects the premium of your auto policy more than any other coverage. You need to ask yourself: “If you end up getting involved in a collision that ends up in a total loss for you vehicle, will you be able to afford to replace it with something of comparable worth?”

Before looking into removing collision coverage off you policy, discuss with your agent other forms of collision coverage options, such as the following:

1. Broad Form Collision : the most expensive form of collision coverage, but it allows your deductible to be waived in the event of a NOT at-fault accident.

2. Standard Collision : the second least expensive option. You pay the deductible no matter who is at fault. All of these have higher and lower deductibles.

3. Limited Collision : the least expensive collision coverage option. It generally has a zero dollar deductible, but there’s a catch. If you are not at fault in an accident, your vehicle damages are covered with no deductible. However, if you are deemed at fault, you have absolutely no vehicle damage coverage. I like to call this the ’50/50 gamble’

HOW TO DECIDE

1. Use Kelly Blue Book to discover the value of your automobile.

2. Analyze your personal finances to see if you can afford to replace it.

3. Call your insurance agent and discuss other collision options to help lower your auto premium.

Homeowner E & F Coverages

This is the liability section of your homeowners policy.

Coverage E : is your Personal Liability. So lets say someone comes over and slips on some ice and breaks their back, they could sue you. This is where your Personal Liability comes into play. How much liability should you purchase with your policy you ask? As much as you can afford.

Coverage F : is for Medical Payments. So with the same scenario as up top this coverage would also come into play. So if the individual slips and falls you can make a claim to have your insurance pay the first $1,000, $5,000, or whatever you coverage limit is of the individuals medical bills as a good faith gesture to prevent him from wanting to file a law suit against you.

*All above are subject to deductible.

If you have any questions please feel free to post a comment and ask away.

Liability Insurance for Your Auto

Often when purchasing an auto policy people are looking for ways to save money in the wrong places, such as the liability section in your auto policy. The state of Michigan only requires you to carry 20/40/10 limits, which are $20,000 per person/$40,000 per occurrence/$10,000 property damage. However, this could end up costing you everything you own plus more. For example, if you are deemed at fault in an auto collision and have caused bodily injury to others in the other vehicle they can come back and sue you. And in these days and times, $20,000 is not going to cover it.

What is likely to happen is your insurance company will just cut the check for the policy limit and walk away, leaving you with no defense. So after that, where do you think the rest of the settlement money will be coming from? Your bank accounts and assets. As a general rule of thumb 100/300/100 is as low on your auto liability limits as you would ever want to go. Also, you can increase your automobile liability limits to 500/500/500 and home liability to $500,000 and once you do that, often you can purchase a $1 Million Umbrella Policy which is an additional $1 Million of liability coverage on top of you home and auto coverage, often with no extra cost because of the Umbrella Multi-Policy Discount.

Homeowner A-D Coverages

Coverage A : As discussed in the Replacement Cost post, coverage A determines what your house is covered for covered damages to it.

Coverage B : is for Other Structures. So it could be a pole barn, shed, detached garage, etc. Coverage B is created by taking 10% of Coverage A. So if Coverage A is $100,000 then Coverage B would automatically be $10,000.

Coverage C : is for Personal Property. This would be your contents. Coverage C is created by taking 50% of Coverage A. So if Coverage A is $100,000 then Coverage C would be $50,000.

Coverage D : is for Loss of Use. Loss of Use is if you have a loss caused by a covered peril to where you cannot reside in your house until the repairs are finished, your insurance will pay for you to live elsewhere for the time being up to Coverage D’s limit. Coverage D is created by taking 25% of Coverage A. So if Coverage A is $100,000 then Coverage D would be $25,000

* All of the above are subject to your deductible.

If you have any questions please feel to comment and ask away.

3 Keys to Recieving ‘Peace-of-Mind’ Auto Coverage

Do you want the type of auto coverage that gives you peace of mind so that when you’re driving around you’re not worrying whether you’re fully covered or not? Well here are three keys to insure that you can have that:

1. Be Honest With Your Agent – always tell your insurance agent the truth. You may think by “fibbing” or telling a “white lie” to save a little bit in premium dollars won’t hurt, but that’s where you’d be wrong. This could cause you to have possible gaps in your auto coverage. Always have full disclosure with your agent. You wouldn’t go to the doctor and not tell him all your symptoms would you? Of course not, because he might misdiagnose you! It’s the same way with your insurance, ALWAYS BE HONEST.

2. Ask Questions – if you’re ever unsure of anything ask you agent. All through out high school so many of my teachers said, “There’s no such thing as a stupid question” and you know what? They were right! Never feel embarrassed to ask a question, please ask away!

3. Pay Your Bill When It’s Due – rather than waiting until last minute to pay your bill and hope it gets to the company on time, just pay it when it’s due and you’ll know your covered. Simple.

So there you have 3 Keys to Have great peace of mind when it comes to your auto coverage!